As you know, I've been making a policy of measuring the effect of EV SSL Certificates (and therefore green address bars) on visitor behavior at various types of Web sites. One area that's been underresearched is online banking. I'm pleased to tell you that yesterday VeriSign announced the first such measurement on an online bank.
Michigan-based Flagstar Bank measured the effect of green address bars on new user signups. This strong regional bank saw a 10% increase in new account signups when green bars are present over when they are not. There are many reasons why increases in online transactions are good for banks. Costs are greatly reduced servicing customers on the Web rather than in person or on the phone. Customers have enhanced service opportunities online that generally lead to greater satisfaction and stickiness. And the bank has the opportunity to sell new services like a charge card or a line of credit. But the biggest reason by far is that savings and checking accounts are a retail bank's lifeblood. Signing up new accounts is the key to a bank staying in business and ultimately growing. And new accounts are the fuel that drive those added services mentioned earlier.